I can definitely give soup before we leave and after we return, I just wanted to make sure they'd be okay to leave with just the soup. They'll probably just sleep that time away anyway. I won't replace the kibble until later at night.
Taking the kibble out this morning. Wish us luck.
Is it too soon to say I think they've got more energy? I feel like both of them are playing harder longer these past few nights.
They will be just fine, they are young and healthy and don't have insulinoma, so really they can go for quite some time without food. Especially when they eat the raw soup, they get so much nutrition from it, they don't need to eat again right away. So no worries there
Good luck! Let me know how it goes today!!! If everything goes well and they are eating the soup all day and you are feeling confident enough, you can give them fresh soup right before bed (and no kibble). Give them enough that they will have food all night, and then in the morning offer them fresh soup, and make sure you see them both eat (since you won't be able to tell who ate how much over night - or if you have a cage that can be separated into sections like a Ferret Nation, you can separate them overnight, each with soup to make sure both are eating overnight) If that all goes well and they ate the soup overnight and the soup in the morning, then I'd say you don't need kibble anymore at all and that they can be 100% on soup! (As long as fresh soup is availible to them at all times)
Definitely not too soon to say that! They can actually USE all the nutrients in raw, unlike kibble, where the undigestible starches and grains are completely useless to them. So more useable calories = more energy for sure!
Last Edit: Feb 25, 2012 13:41:27 GMT -5 by Deleted
Alright! Yesterday went really really well. They both ate a decent amount in the morning. I replaced with a little fresh soup in the afternoon, which they only licked at a little, but then when we got home last night I gave them dinner and they both ate very well.
I didn't get a chance to get back online yesterday, so I did put the kibble in right before bed. I really don't think they ate any/much at all, and this morning, while the kibble was still there I watched Charlotte snack on last night's leftovers instead of the yucky kibble.
Wheatley still clearly prefers the soupy parts to the chunks, but he is eating them with a few drops of ferretone mixed in. Charlotte's all about the chunks now though.
I think I will try tonight without the kibble. I'm so proud of my fuzzbutts!
They are pretty much telling you they are done with the kibble and ready to be on REAL food full time! ;D
So go ahead and remove the kibble completely and there shouldn't be any need to give it back again!
That is great news about the chunks! Yay Charlotte! Just keep working on Wheatley, it sounds like he likes the chunks but is just being a bit lazy because they are more work to eat than the soup ;D. It does definitely take a little bit for them to build up some jaw strength so I have a feeling he'll be eating the chunks no problem any day now.
So I would say 1) remove the kibble completely 2) let them eat the soup and the same size chunks for today and tomorrow, just to get used to eating raw with no kibble and then 3) after tomorrow you can very slowly (let's say every second day) increase the size of the chunks. You definitely don't want to do this too fast or it can make them not want to eat them but if you make them bigger and the ferrets seem to have trouble with them, you can always go back down a size.
Also, we are going to want to start adding some different proteins besides chicken later this week so next time you're at the store see if you can pick up some pork. That's usually a good second protein. Just pork muscle meat (no bones) so something like pork cutlets or tenderloin works great.
So our first night without kibble went well. I don't think they ate much over night, but they both ate well at breakfast. I made the soup a little chunkier yesterday, and watched to make sure they were both eating it at dinner.
So we've done away with kibble. Josh will be stopping by today while I'm at work to make sure they've got food to last them through dinner.
With the bigger chunks, am I still just mixing them in with the heart/liver/eggshell soup? And I can probably pick up the pork on Wednesday-- will I just be cutting it like I am with the chicken meat?
As long as they are eating some food over night, they are fine. they are probably filling up on soup/ chunks during the day so might not eat as much at night.
What size of chunks are they currently eating? Here's the sizing guide:
Slivers- he size of your fingernail cresent. A bit larger than ground, but still very small
Bit sized- tiny diced bits of meat approx. 1/8" cubes
Small chunk- a bit larger, approx 1/4" cubes
Med. chunk- 1/2 " cubes
Large chunks- 1 " cubes
What you can do now instead of putting the chunks in soup is to give them the chunks and then just put a little bit of soup on top like a gravy. That way they are still getting the heart, liver and egg shell to balance out their diet a bit
With the pork, start with smaller pieces (the sliver size stated above) with a bit of the chicken soup on top. If they take to the pork right away, you can then offer bigger chunks. Feel free to give this a try as soon as you pick up the pork on Wednesday.
If I could also get the weekly report from you either tonight or tomorrow that would be great. I don't need another picture this week, just the following:
Name: Weight: Activity Level: Stool size and consistency:
Weekly menu: I.e. Monday Am - what, size, how much Monday pm - Tuesday am - Etc.
(if they ate the same thing all last week just put: soup with ____ size chunks ( using the above sizing guide) every day. If you could also give me an estimate of how much eat ferret eats daily (ie. 1 tbsp soup, 5-10 chunks) that would be great.)
This is the report format I will get you to fill out every week, let's say every Sunday or Monday from now on
Last Edit: Feb 27, 2012 14:07:41 GMT -5 by Deleted
I'd say right now they're eating bit sized pieces with some small chunks thrown in for good measure. When I chop up some meat again (probably Wednesday when I do the pork as well), should I keep it separate, make the heart/liver/eggshell soup separately and mix at mealtimes?
Name: Wheatley Weight: 2lb 13.5oz Activity Level: very high! he's been bouncing all over my room this past week. Stool size and consistency: still a little watery, but firmer than before the squash. much smaller darker poops, but consistent.
Name: Charlotte Weight: 2lb 2oz Activity Level: a bit higher than usual, my little demon. Stool size and consistency: like Wheatley's, a little smaller though.
I also feel like they're both peeing a lot more than before. Is that normal? Is it because they're getting a lot more water in their food?
Weekly Menu: Chicken soup (thigh meat, liver, hearts, a little gizzard, eggshell powder and some baby food squash) every am and pm. Up until Saturday they had kibble during the day, and until Sunday they had kibble at night.
It's hard to say how much, but I'd say total for 1 day, Charlotte eats about 4-6 big tablespoons, and Wheatley eats about 6-8? I only really get to watch how much they're eating at dinner, at breakfast they both have a few bites and then want to come out and play, so they eat when I put them back in the cage when I'm leaving for work .
Make the chicken soup the same as always and keep the chopped up pork and chopped up chicken separate. Then when you go to feed pork for the first time, put a little bit of chicken soup on top just because they are used to the chicken taste but not yet the pork.
I'd say at this point, you can slowly increase the chicken chunks sizes from bite-sized to small chunks. Then let me know how the pork slivers go and we can go from there with the pork sizes.
Peeing a ton is totally normal and exactly for the reason you said. Kibble dehydrates them, where as raw provides food and hydration. Still keep fresh water available at all times of course, but don't worry about the increased urination.
The next step, besides getting them to eat bigger chunks of chicken and getting them to try the pork would be adding in some bone. So to save you a shopping trip, pick up some chicken wings ( with the tips in ) when you pick up the pork. Just freeze them for now, but I'll probably have you try them this weekend depending on how the week goes
They've been doing well with the soup/chunks. Last night I left the old plate with a few leftover chunks from the morning by the cage after I gave them fresh soup, and Charlotte decided she wanted to eat those first. That's okay, right? They're supposed to decide when it's not good any more? Just wanted to make sure.
Also, Wheatley's looking a bit thinner but he feels a lot more.. solid now. He's also shedding like he just realized his fur was out of style, so that could be some of the bulk that's missing. His weight this week was only .5oz down from last week, too. He's eating and playing normally, so it's okay, right?
Tonight I'll be picking up wings and pork, along with more soup ingredients. I'll let you know how the pork goes.
Also.... I think Josh and I will be doing ferret math in the next few weeks. We're hoping to adopt from a rescue (I've got my eye on a little sable) but it might be a little difficult since it's about 2 hours away. We're upgrading to the FN in the meantime. Should I plan to do soup from day 1 with the newbie? Or should I do kibble for a few days and then start the switch?
Yupp that's perfectly fine chunks of meat stay fresh way longer than soup - they can stay good for like 12-16 hours depending. But ferrets won't generally eat spoiled food, especially when they have fresh food. Also a lot of ferrets actually prefer to let their food "season" ;D and become a little bit jerkied. It's pretty gross but they dont seem to think so ;D. So eating slightly old meat is perfectly fine, it's the bones you really want to worry above and even then just make sure they are removed after 48 hours which is when they start to dry out and become dangerous.
Could you take a picture of Wheatley today and post it? Similar to the first one. I'm thinking he's just slimming down a bit and starting to build better muscle mass from the raw + a shed can trim them up for sure, but I'd like to have a quick look
Woo! Congrats on the possible ferret math! that all depends on the ferret. If its a younger healthy ferret and LIKES the soup, there's no reason not to go onto it the same day the ferret comes home. However if the ferret is older, has an unknown healthy history and could possibly have insulinoma and is being picky about the soup, I would keep the kibble in the cage at first.
Let me know if you do get the ferret and information on age, health, etc.
You should also quarantine from your other ferrets for a few weeks ( or at least until you have had the new ferret vet checked and swabbed for ear mites)
Everything else sounds perfect can't wait to hear how the pork goes!
Last Edit: Feb 29, 2012 14:13:56 GMT -5 by Deleted
So Charlotte is warming to the pork. I cut tiny little pieces and put some of the chicken heart/liver/etc gravy on top, mixed it a bit and served with a spoon of warm water, the way they like. She sniffed and licked and bit a little, I think she's had 2 little pieces? Wheatley sniffed and licked and looked up at me like he's on to me (and he is, clever weasel). I mixed in a few larger chicken chunks for good measure and put it back in the cage with them for the night.
They weren't as hungry when pork dinner time came because their afternoon feeding got a little messed up. Either way, I'll update you tomorrow on how their midnight snack goes in the morning.
I'm going to consult my fellow ferret experts on the pics and will get back to you!
Sounds like an okay first attempt at the pork to me. Worst comes to worst we can always resort to a pork soup, but I think they'll come around to it without that try really rubbing the pieces inside their mouth tomorrow and using the scruff and stuff method I showed you early a little bit. Stick with tiny slivers covered in the soup for now and throw on some ferretone if you have to, whatever it takes, they will eat that pork! ;D
Do still have chicken soup on chicken chunks available for them at all times though so that they are eating that. But what you can do is take that away for 2-3 hours before offering the pork again. Hunger is a great motivator!
I'm so glad to hear that! I'll admit I was getting a little nervous, heh.
So neither ended up eating very much last night, I think because I mixed the pork in with the chicken. I got worried about them having enough to eat so this morning I only did chicken, and I'll scruff and stuff the pork tonight after I take the chicken away for a while. So I'm just going to take a sliver, scruff and kind of rub it on their tongue/gums/etc a little?
Yes, definitely offer just the plain chicken chunks/soup to make sure they are still eating enough.
You may not even have to scuff. Just take a ferret in your lap, take a tiny sliver of pork and rub it inside the gums and see if they will start eating it. Cover it in soup, ferretone to entice them. If that doesn't seem like its working, throw some pork in the food processor and make ground pork, see if that works. If not add warm water and make it soupy. Don't worry about adding heart or liver or egg shell. Just pork and water is fine.